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You Know It Isn't "Good Cuisine" But You Like It Just the Same, So There!

There's a discussion on a local board about Golden Corral, and how bad the food is, teetering towards, "if you eat there the you possibly can't know anything about good food". I beg to differ, I find a few items I actually have enjoyed at the one location I've visited. I also love Jack In The Box Tacos, and White Castle Hamburgers. On the flip side, my favorite lunchtime restaurant near where I work is French, Balthazar in Soho, or near where I live O'lar in Piermont, both of those are on near the other end of the food chain spectrum, not a Per Se, of French Laundry but far enough up to get the point. What does this all mean? I don't know, but I have seen this attitude over the years on CH bubble up once in awhile. It's kind of frustrating, reminds me of being in High School where the "Cool" kids would pick on those they deemed not so "cool". Have you been ridiculed for a food choice? What was it? I just have to say, I know it isn't "great cuisine" I like it just the same, so there!

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  1. I've never been ridiculed for a food choice, but I do have some trashy indulgences:

    Rotel dip
    Taco Bell bean burritos with hot sauce
    Tacos made with a pack of supermarket taco seasoning

    2 Replies
    1. re: Tara57

      Oh, Taco Bell bean burritos with hot sauce. It's been way too long since I've had one of those!

      1. re: thingmaker

        Oh my. I ate a LOT of those in college. Dirt cheap. Filling. Delicious, in that Taco Bell bean burrito with hot sauce kinda way.

    2. I agree.

      Being able to enjoy all different kinds of food (from junk food to luxury food) has nothing to do with "knowing anything about good food" or having poor taste or an unsophisticated palate.

      IMO, people that suggest that -are attempting to elevate themselves "above the masses" in some way....and they are unaware that they look like dumb assess :)

      Cheetos rock.

      6 Replies
        1. re: Kris in Beijing

          Keep those jalapeno Cheetos away from me....'cause if you open 'em near me, I'll finish off the whole bag.

          1. re: ricepad

            I haven't seen them by me. Are they the puffed type? Sounds really good.

            1. re: michele cindy

              No, they're the 'crunchy' type. Not all the stores in my area sell them - the flaming hot variety is more common.

              1. re: ricepad

                The Flamin Hot are even more addicting :)

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  Have you done a side-by-side?
                  When we did, we found that there were more flavours in the jalapeno Cheetos than the Flamin' -- which, when compared, seemed only one note, of good tasty heat, yet not very cheesy.

      1. I've never been ridiculed for a food choice, but I grew up eating the best pizza The Bronx could provide, and spending my pennies on White Castle hamburgers.

        During the time I lived and worked in Manhattan, I also experienced some of the finest food that city had to offer. In my travels I've lunched at Commander's Palace, dined on rijsttafel in Amsterdam, and enjoyed Dungeness Crab on the West Coast. I think I know good food, as most Chowhounds do.

        I still like a Five Guys burger, will roam through the Cajun country of Louisiana having plate after plate of "half & half" (crawfish étouffée and fried crawfish tails), and then come home to eat Chinese takeout or gorge on Cheetos. Yes, they really do rock, even if your fingers glow orange for a while.

        As an analogy, right now I'm listening to "La Traviata", when earlier today my car radio was blaring "One bourbon, one shot, and one beer".

        I've never eaten at a Golden Corral, but I'd be willing to believe if I found myself in one, I could find something worth eating. One meal will never define anyone.

        7 Replies
        1. re: mcsheridan

          Interesting you mention that tune "One bourbon, one shot, and one beer." It happens to be the theme song of a guy who does a program on cheap Izakaya drinking places here in Japan. The other theme song is "Bad, Bad Whiskey make me lose my happy home." Every program he gets pretty drunk.

              1. re: Silverjay

                You got it, Silverjay. Last time you were here I might have mentioned that I watch the show regularly.

              2. re: Tripeler

                may be reincarnation is for real and Justin Wilson is alive and well in Japan.

                1. re: genoO

                  Reincarnation of the Cajun J.W.?
                  Does he tell you how to measure a shot of whiskey every program?
                  [that would be my analogue to Jus-teen's tsp of salt]

            1. The original chowhound manifesto certainly embraced both the low brow and the high brow http://www.chow.com/manifesto

              I'll admit enjoying the infamous Grease Trucks in New Brunswick, NJ. Don't yuck my yum!

              On the other hand.... Golden Corral??!!!??? (just kidding... I think...)

              3 Replies
              1. re: drongo

                Thanks for the link, drongo. I don't think I've seen that before now.

                1. re: drongo

                  I love that Don't yuck my yum! I can see it on T-Shirts everywhere.

                  1. re: michele cindy

                    It should be a sticky on the GT and the HC boards. Might prevent some of the chattier threads like "I cannot possibly imagine eating x, can you?" et al in the same vein. Yawn.

                2. I love fast-food chicken. If KFC still offered their Hot'n'Spicy Extra Crispy (it was like CRACK!) I'd still be hitting them up at least once a week or so, but I do keep a list of who's got specials on which days. And of course let's not forget the Sausage and Egg McMuffin with the hash-brown cake tucked into it, so necessary for any early-morning road trip.

                  I love a good flat-grilled burger, flame-broiled not so much, and miss that tiny greasy spoon in Nashville where fried bologna was one of the breakfast meat choices, but diners in general are my natural habitat. That does not mean I'll avoid places where I can get escargots and stuff, but sometimes I just want something my mom would make. On a good day.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Will Owen

                    I like that sort of thing too, and not ashamed. I was raised on a lot of home cooking, much of which I personally cooked starting as a small child, but there was a lot of poor food in there. Creamed chipped beef, bologna, and spam. A lot of greens and beans from the garden, and that spam tasted mighty good alongside.

                    I find it sort of interesting, actually, that some people who grew up like this will never eat those things again willingly (my ex, for example, would not touch bologna or spam) whereas I still like it, it's comfort to me. Sunday morning perfection is fried potatoes, fried bologna and an egg. With ketchup. It's luxurious, we only got two of the three at any one time when I was a kid, one protein per meal. And I get to eat whatever I want on Sunday now.

                    1. re: Teague

                      I am on a Spam kick lately. I buy the lower sodium to fool myself it's healthier.

                      1. re: Jerseygirl111

                        Reminds me of an old post of mine I just can't eat Spam, won't even try it. It will take someone to give me $20.00 to do it. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/572886

                        1. re: Jerseygirl111

                          I came to Spam late in life, but it was love at first bite. Salty,fatty -what's not to like?

                          1. re: Pwmfan

                            I have fear of Spam. Spamophobia. Is it anything like Taylor Ham? It looks a bit like it, just that it comes in a can. I lover Taylor Ham.

                      2. re: Will Owen

                        I hear you on the hot & spicy extra crispy KFC! Popeye's spicy chicken is very good, have you tried it? It's not especially crispy but has decent heat. :)

                        1. re: Will Owen

                          darn, now you went and made me start craving extra crispy kfc.

                        2. I'm not sure you buy the food at Checkers so much as just rent it for a while, but those Double American Melts with the Cheeze Whiz & grilled red onions are disgustingly delicious.

                          1. Taco Bell and Cheetos.

                            1. Anybody who loves JitB tacos is ok by me.

                              1. I've been known to occasionally indulge in a mcgangbang.

                                There, I admitted it.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                  Me, too...but I don't order it that way. Do you?

                                  1. re: ricepad

                                    No, I've always wanted to but I've never been able to get up the courage to do that. No way I could keep a straight face while ordering that through a drive through window.

                                    A friend of mine claimed to have ordered one like that and it came pre-made, in a bigmac box. It was at a college town so I'm not surprised.

                                    1. re: tcamp

                                      Hah, it's nothing inappropriate. Just a chicken sandwich inside a cheeseburger.

                                  2. Arby's beef n cheddar. I'm not sure what the cheddar is made of, or the beef for that matter. But I'll eat it and do it in front of anybody.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: alliegator

                                      I worked at arby's for a while. I will no longer eat anything but their market fresh sandwiches, their curly fries and their jamocha shakes. Curly fries are best dipped into the jamocha shake. MMM yes. Now, the kids working at the arbys introduced me to what they called Ghetto Donuts - a bun cut into cubes, deep fried and sprinkled with sugar. Made on the day we'd just changed the oil in the fryers.. yum. But after a week of frying chicken tenders and fries in there, they tasted pretty manky. On the flip side, I introduced them to rootbeer floats. The poor things had never had one. When I worked late night shifts I'd tweak our milkshake machine to overfreeze the shakes so we got soft serve, and promised all the kids rootbeer floats if they'd stop bickering over all the end of shift cleanup. Worked like a charm.

                                    2. One that has been my recent obsession is Popeye's red beans with a ton of hot sauce and rice and mashed potatoes. A sodium bomb for sure. That hasn't stopped me from eating them at least two or three times a month.

                                        1. re: joycebre

                                          I love tater tots with a pure and holy love. They are just not as good if not deep fried. i do not like to adulterate them with cheese or chili.

                                        2. I always order the same thing when I occasionally visit my fast food chains.
                                          Taco Bell: 2 crunchy tacos and a bean burrito with green sauce.
                                          McDonalds : Big Mac and a cheese burger.
                                          Not good cuisine but I don't mind every now and then.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: emglow101

                                            Taco bell is always sad for me, because it just isn't like it was when I was younger. But Taco Johns has xxx hot green sauce, which makes up for a lot. So I mostly go there for my bad fast food fix.

                                          2. Burger King. It's close to my house and I love their burgers.

                                            Also KFC's famous bowl, which I nicnamed: "starch n'n cheese bowl"

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: YAYME

                                              OOH yes! Whopper w/cheese xtra mayo!

                                              1. I've pretty much gotten over most all of the trash I ate during my youth, but STILL have a soft spot for Campbell's Bean With Bacon soup. I still adore it, but it is far from the three-or-four-cans-for-a-dollar price of my youth.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Tripeler

                                                  I love that stuff. I actually made some a while back while camping sorta at a friend's remote cabin. We had campbells tomato soup, bacon and navy beans. It tasted just the same!

                                                  1. re: Tripeler

                                                    Uh...me, too. With a bologna sandwich (white bread, miracle whip, hot sauce). Hot pepper vinegar for the soup.

                                                  2. Yes, there are things I eat that I don't usually speak of to anyone. Most of them are haunts from my childhood that I can't shake and still have once in a while.

                                                    Like unfrosted Pop Tarts in strawberry and brown sugar cinnamon. Toasted and smeared with butter.

                                                    Kraft Mac & Cheese, original in the blue box. It really is gross but sometimes you just crave the taste.

                                                    I eat my share of bran cereal but I love Frosted Flakes.

                                                    11 Replies
                                                    1. re: Jpan99

                                                      Kraft mac & cheese with hot dogs cut up in it! It's like a sodium bomb, but it tastes so good... sometimes I make it for my almost-4-year-old and "accidentally" make too much. My justification is that I use the whole-grain m&c and reasonably healthy hot dogs. <g>

                                                      1. re: truman

                                                        Oh no no no...it's Spaghettios with the hot dogs cut up! ;-)

                                                        1. re: truman

                                                          I love kraft dinner, and will spring for the extra 29 cents to get the original. I also like Amys whole wheat shells and cheese, but sometimes nothing but kraft will do.

                                                        2. re: Jpan99

                                                          yes on the toasted and piping hot strawberry pop-tarts (unfrosted) with butter melted on top. mmm, haven't had those in umpteen years, but can still taste it in my mind.

                                                          1. re: Jpan99

                                                            I miss un-frosted PopTarts... am nearly driven to make my own. Where do you find those?

                                                            1. re: KarenDW

                                                              The website says they still produce unfrosted, in several flavours.

                                                              1. re: KarenDW

                                                                Most of my local groceries sell the unfrosted. They always have strawberry and usually brown sugar cinnamon and some even have the blueberry. Those are the only three unfrosted flavors they make. I'm in Mass. not sure where you live but you can buy them on Amazon but only in multiples.

                                                                1. re: KarenDW

                                                                  Oh yessss. Strawberry toasted and dripping with butter. Yum.

                                                                  1. re: mrsbuffer

                                                                    Why have I never thought to put butter on a pop tart? Sounds pretty good.
                                                                    I used to love the unfrosted ones as a kid, never liked that frosting.

                                                                    1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                      I think I'd do that to the cinnamon version next time I buy some. Great idea!

                                                                2. re: Jpan99

                                                                  I notice that when I am sick I regress to childhood tastes. Could not believe it but when I had the flu I longed for canned spaghetti, something I normally would walk a mile out of my way to avoid even seeing. The other can has now been in my pantry for a year and will surely end up in a food bank donation bag. But when I ate it, it was all I wanted.

                                                                3. I like Taco Bell
                                                                  I dream of a Whataburger expansion to the Mid Atlantic
                                                                  I enjoy cheesesteaks and hot dogs

                                                                  I also belong to a food coop and shop at the farmers market and a lot of people are sort of holier than thou about sourcing - I figure the occasional taco supreme wont kill me and I balance with sufficient amounts of kale

                                                                  1. we once ate at a golden corral somewhere near i-95 in south carolina and it was some fine vittles! places like that i think are pretty dependent on the quality of the cooks in the kitchen. those south carolinians typically know how to cook and eat well!

                                                                    and i don't worry about food snobs. if you like it, you like it; and if you don't well…don't eat it.

                                                                    PS: who snatched my bag of nacho cheese doritos?

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                      I think that was 1980 that took your Doritos...

                                                                    2. Oh how I long for a Jack In The Box Taco...I haven't had one of those babies since I left Phoenix for Fort Lauderdale in 1981! Which leads me to my other AZ. favorite...the Taco Bell Tostada Grande. I don't know if they've changed the menus out west but Taco Bell in Florida just doesn't even come close.

                                                                      Thankfully however I am still able to occasionally satisfy my cravings for Little Debbie Nutty Bars!

                                                                      1. In college back in 1972.. lunch was often a can of Chef Boy Ardee ravioli with a couple slices of Kraft cheese food on top...sort of a ravioli" parm"...because of lack of $$$...I now have a can about once a year as a throw back...
                                                                        Never tasted Spam until about 3 years ago...the low sodium is acceptable...heck, recently I served slices of Spam, with slices of sharp cheddar along side sliced smoke turkey wrapped asparagus, corn chips, pineapple salsa chopped liver , baguette, etc.....everyone loved my appys!

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                          On a Spam thread once someone remembered that in his childhood the Sunday treat had been a roasted SPAM glazed with brown sugar and pineapple. Actually sounded kind of good but I have not had the nerve to try it. Doesn't it taste like baloney on steroids? It looks that way.

                                                                          1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                            Something about the sweet/spice combination in the Chef's foods are really satisfying.

                                                                          2. Tater tots
                                                                            Fries from McD's, "well done"
                                                                            Instant ramen, cooked at home

                                                                            1. AYCE Chinese buffets. I don't care that everybody in the kitchen speaks a mixture of Creole and Spanish. That the recipes may have originated with Martha Stewart is irrelevant. I just thoroughly enjoy them.

                                                                              That being said, some are better than others.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                i did not realize martha stewart was chinese! LOL

                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                  Neither are most "Chinese" buffets! :-)

                                                                                2. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                  My late husband was incapable of driving past a Chinese buffet without stopping. Once this paid off---somewhere in New England, probably RI or MA, we ran into one that served not fake scallops made of surimi but honest-to-God deep-fried sea scallops, ad lib of course. Heaven.

                                                                                3. Quaker Instant Oatmeal -- can't beat it when you need breakfast in a hurry

                                                                                  Panda Express -- I usually forego the rice or noodles & opt for the fresh veggies. Cheap, filling, good.

                                                                                  Fritos -- if I have to explain why, you just don't get it.

                                                                                  1. It's all in the wording. My great-grandma (born 1865 and learned to cook from HER grandma born 1824) used to cook a pot of navy beans all day with a piece of salt pork and add potatoes toward the end. You mashed up a potato with your fork and spooned Bean Gravy over it. Excellent eating. However, we must move with the times. Nowadays I call it Deconstructed Cassoulet

                                                                                    1. Although we call them Toxic Belch, McScarf and Barf, and Crap in the Sack around here, sometimes I just can't resist stopping into one. Toxic.. err.. I mean Taco Bell wins the call more often than the other two, and while I'm there I have to get an apple empanada too.

                                                                                      My food tastes range all over the place. I have a number of items I'll eat about once a year and then the itch is scratched for several months. Cheese in a can is on top of that list. There's just something about it!

                                                                                      However, I haven't quite reached the level of some of the people I work with at the Gleaners organization I'm a member of. They think Dennys is the best place to go for a steak, and Hometown Buffet (pronounced buff-ETTTT) is living high because you can choose from so MANY things! They think me a little odd because I get excited when my bag of groceries has some odd item from Trader Joes that they've never heard of like quinoa, and when I stumbled on a case of carrot cashew bisque they gave them all to me because everyone that tried them there thought it 'weird' .. I enjoyed it all with relish. It's become a game now - they think it cue to try to weird me out by putting something they'd never eat in my bag - 9 times out of 10 it's something I'm thrilled to get that I normally wouldn't ever buy because it's a non-essential or expensive. Last week it was a can of anchovies!

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: JasFoodie

                                                                                        Wow, those folks need to get out more, damn.